Time to Face New Realities; Mental Health Care Bill-2013

By Kala, Anirudh | Indian Journal of Psychiatry, July-September 2013 | Go to article overview

Time to Face New Realities; Mental Health Care Bill-2013


Kala, Anirudh, Indian Journal of Psychiatry


Byline: Anirudh. Kala

A young man has been brought by the family and got admitted with history of marked insomnia, excitement, violence, being boisterous, and spending away to an impending ruin. He demands to be released since "he is fine and does not need any treatment". Familiar so far?

If the Mental Health Care Bill, 2013, tabled in the Rajya Sabha on the 19 [sup]th August, 2013, is passed by the parliament,which is likely, following will be a routine continuum of the above scenario.

The patient is offered a chair and explained about the concept of 'supported admission', which is the new and politically correct name for 'involuntary admission'. He is given a phone number to call if he has any objection to being admitted. The phone rings in the office of the district mental health review panel and somebody listens carefully, jots down details, and reassures the patient that a team will visit shortly and look into this matter. The team, which is actually a judicial body headed by a former district judge does visit the hospital, conducts a court hearing, and decides whether the patient needs to continue staying in the hospital or not. If the decision is in patient's favor, he will be allowed to go home.

Welcome to the world of post admission judicial review.

All involuntary admissions, in all Mental Health Establishments, which is the new name for any and all such places, wherever a person with mental illness is admitted even for a day, whenever challenged by the patient; will undergo a review by panels of Mental Health Review Commission, which will be located at district levels. Theoretically, family as well as the psychiatrist can appeal against the decision, but appeal against the panel lies with the high court, which would mean several visits to the state capital and whatever else is involved in going in an appeal to a high court including costly lawyers.

Psychiatrists who have worked in the West will find some similarities in it to the system of Mental Health Tribunals.

The provision in principle is undoubtedly progressive. After all we are talking about civil detention and curtailing patients' most basic right, that is, liberty; and so, a review if asked for by the patient, should be possible. It will also take care of an occasional complaint that patients file with the police, who having no sensitization about situations associated with severe mental illness, are sometimes a source of considerable trouble to mental health professionals. The mainstream judicial system is equally incapable of handling such complaints because of lack of sensitivity and also being clogged with a huge pendendency of mainstream cases.

But are we, as a society ready for this large scale, countrywide post admission review in almost all cases of involuntary admissions? Because let us face it, all patients who are admitted involuntarily believe that they do not need admission; that is why, it is involuntary admission in the first place? A cynic would say that it would officialize, bureaucratize, and stigmatize mental illness even more. Terms like 'feasibility', 'ground reality', and 'administrative bottle-necks blocking access'; reflexely come to mind.

More importantly, in a country where families bear the total burden of mental illness, and constitute by far the largest manpower resource in treating mental illness in an otherwise resource strapped country, such a step would put families and patients on the opposite side of the legal fence, as adversaries and push a wedge between the two. It is argued that it will sabotage goodwill and bonding, and make families less willing to be as proactive in the treatment of their wards as at present, which will be an unmitigated disaster. In an ideal world, the state should be in a position to support treatment and rehabilitation of the mentally ill, so that dependence on families is minimized, but that does not seem to be happening very soon. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Time to Face New Realities; Mental Health Care Bill-2013
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.